Nyonya Tiffin Carrier Alfa

Artist: Tan Hui Leng
Year: 2020
Prize Category: 2nd Prize
artwork category


Artwork Description

Choosing to diametrically oppose watercolour conventions, the artist fuses a kaleidoscope of prints with reckless abandon. A closer look reveals the intricate patterns of traditional Baba-Nyonya enamel tiffin carriers interlaced with vibrant hand-drawn batik motifs. The artwork provides a refreshing take on the medium while honouring the heritage of homecooked meals.
“The strong scent of this famous fruit is unbearable for some. Most Malaysians go crazy for it. Once it gets into our mouth, it melts in a heavenly way. The creamy texture and its sweetness behind the thorny skin makes it unique. There are two hands in the artwork which symbolize two kinds of people. The first, throning the Durian, represents the majority of Malaysians who love durian, and the other those who may feel the other way round. The durian that is cut in half (in a most unusual way) symbolizes that some of us are actually making things hard for ourselves. We should ‘work smarter, not harder’.”
Whether we choose to read the image as a lesson about our personal working approach or as one about political choices and strategies, it is clear that the artist recommends we all find ways to get over our differences and enjoy our fruit to the fullest

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